Measuring Intelligence: Facts and Fallacies by David J. Bartholomew

By David J. Bartholomew

This booklet penetrates the thicket of controversy, ideology and prejudice surrounding the size of intelligence to supply a transparent non-mathematical research of it. The trying out of intelligence has a protracted and arguable background and even if intelligence exists and will be measured nonetheless continues to be unresolved. the controversy approximately it has established at the "nurture as opposed to nature" controversy and particularly on alleged racial variations and the heritability of intelligence.

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A share-price index is a collective property of the set of prices, many thousands perhaps, at a particular time. It encapsulates an important property of a large number of indicators (individual prices) in a single number which forms part of the decision making of many individuals and institutions. Indeed, it sometimes seems to take on an existence of its own as when commentators speak of an index as ‘breaking the psychologically important 4000 barrier’. In reality, the 4000 point on the scale has no significance of itself.

The fact that their discussion was set in a different age, when it was permissible to talk about eugenics and ‘feeblemindedness’, seems to have diverted attention away from the technical aspects of what the pioneers were trying to do. Binet’s original idea was refined by others and is, perhaps, most clearly expounded in Terman’s book. The key idea behind IQ, as originally defined, was that the level of performance of a child in a test could be expressed by reference to the age at which the average child would be able to achieve that level of performance.

In chapter 3 we used the humble average as an example of something which measures a collective property of a set of numbers. We have just been hinting that it might provide a measure of the size of an object. However, there is an important difference between the everyday average and the average of a set of measurements which we might contemplate using as a rudimentary measure of size. The ordinary average is a summary of a large number of measurements of the same characteristic on different objects, whereas what we are proposing summarises a large number of different measurements on the same object.

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